LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of passing the Right to Work law, which spawned a massive protest on the capitol lawn.
The tranquil state capitol was in stark contrast to what it looked like and sounded like one year ago. 12,000 demonstrators shouted outside the building while republicans inside voted for RTW in the state where the union movement was born. It divided the House democrats against republicans.
State Rep. Doug Geiss says he thinks the hard feelings have dissipated because "we don't have 10,000 standing on the lawn." He says they're looking for an even better year next year.
But 2014 is an election year and democrats are poised to use RTW against the governor.
"The governor and his cohorts promised this avalanche of jobs coming to Michigan. In fact, unemployment is higher today than it was a year ago at this time," said State Rep. Brandon Dillon.
"We're being the fourth best state in the country in terms of job growth. I don't know what they are talking about," said Dick Posthumus, the governor's lobbyist. "See what [the jobless rate] is nationwide. We're doing very well in Michigan."
However, the state is ranked in the top four states with the highest jobless rate.
But the RTW sponsor contends, you have to evaluate this law in the long term. "We have the data to indicate that it's working. To prove it is a different story. Those kind of improvements take a long time," said State Rep. Mike Shirkey.
"We know that in states that have RTW, it doesn't create jobs. It lowers wages. It weakens benefits and erodes work place safety protection," said State Rep. Tim Greimel.
One year later, the protestors are gone, but the debate over the law is not.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WLNS. All Rights Reserved.
Click Here to link to the FCC's public inspection file for WLNS-TV and Here to view the WLAJ-TV file. Persons with Disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's FCC public inspection file should contact: Teresa Morton- Program Director for WLNS and WLAJ at 517-372-8282. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.